Nine Afghan schoolchildren and two international service members are among the 13 people killed by a suicide bomber in eastern Afghanistan today.

The bomber struck outside a government office as the children walked nearby. They attended a school in the neighborhood that had just let pupils out for the day.

A provincial police chief says American forces were also passing by as the explosives went off. The U.S.-led military coalition confirms that two service members died in the explosion, but it didn't confirm their nationalities.

An Afghan policeman was also killed.

Elsewhere today, seven more Afghan civilians, including two children, were killed when their vehicle hit a bomb in the road in an eastern Afghan province.

The Taliban and other militants have been stepping up bombings and raids on police posts nationwide, part of a test of the ability of Afghan security forces to hold their ground without international military forces, who are withdrawing from the country.